Sunday, March 4, 2012

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Published: February 1, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover, 441 pages
Genre: Dystopian, Fiction, Young Adult
Series: Delirium
My rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

 Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

Delirium is such a wonderfully written novel--one with tremendous emotional depth. Lauren Oliver truly has a way with words, and she really knows how to write a powerful and striking story that will hold your attention all the way through! I especially appreciate how great she is at translating the emotions of her characters so that you feel everything right along with them. The premise of this book peaked my interest immediately, and once I started reading it the story proved to be just as engaging. There are quite a few powerful messages to be interpreted as well, ones that really make you stop and ponder.

The characters in this book live in a world where love is considered a disease, and it's mandatory that everyone get "cured" when they reach a certain age. This cure makes everyone a more sad, lesser version of themselves; and I couldn't help but think of these cured individuals as "drones", because that's exactly what they are. Pretty much every aspect of these people's lives are controlled; who they marry, how many kids they have, etc. Big brother is always watching and listening, ready to jump on you and persecute you if you don't follow the structure and rules laid out for the entire population. They enforce this lifestyle by means of cruel punishments and violence. Everyone is brainwashed into thinking that they live this way because it's in their best interest.

This book is told through Lena's perspective. She's approaching her 18th birthday (curing age), and her story starts off with her being excited and relieved for the cure. It was such a rewarding experience seeing how much her character grows throughout this book. She was one of those cautious people who was scared into thinking that love is a heinous disease that will threaten your welfare and cause chaos. Her views were sort of understandable though, given her family background and past circumstances. But her views and her world changes when she meets Alex. I loved watching their romance progress and how much Alex actually changed Lena's entire life and way of thinking. Their love is just so pure and beautiful, and I was rooting for them from the beginning. Alex awakens so much in Lena; like hope for a better life and a fierce need to fight for what she feels so strongly. She learns to fight against the odds of being a product of her environment.

I also really think that Lena's best friend, Hana, is fantastic. Despite the limitations they were put under, their friendship is so strong and loyal. Hana is definitely one of my favorite "best friend" characters of all time. Lena's cousin, Gracie, is also such a special character. For being a little girl who never speaks, her actions and silence are profound in my opinion. I'm hopeful that these two will be around for more of the series.

Delirium was quite the ride, and I can only imagine that the second book will include just as much intensity as this one did. I know that I was definitely an emotional wreck during the final moments of this book, which left me yelling and teary-eyed. Therefore I'm really itching to get my hands on the second book and find out what Lena's future will bring!


  1. Good review! I felt similarly about this one, and just picked up Pandemonium. Look forward to your review of that one

  2. This book has been on my tbr for I don't know how long, I've heard nothing but good things about it, great review, new follower


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